CMYK SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 01 MAY 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR POPE ALLOWS VATICAN PROSECUTIONS A CENTENNIAL TRIBUTE P6 WHEN DE KOCK GETS GOING, RIVALS GET THE JITTERS ‘OTT PLATFORMS AREN’T EXPERIMENTING MUCH’ P11 P7 P12 18-plus jab roll-out to be a non-starter in Bengal, other states STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 30 APRIL WEATHER Rain or thundershower accompanied with gusty wind likely. Temperature will be in the range of 36-27 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.87% TEMPERATURE Min. 36% Max: 36.0°C (+1) Min: 27.1°C (+1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:05 hrs 18:03 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 21:47 hrs 07:42 hrs Next moon quarter on 4 May THUMBNAILS The launch of the next phase of Covid-19 vaccinations in India, planned to cover all adults, from tomorrow will be a nonstarter for much of the country, with multiple states deciding to defer the thirdphase roll-out because of shortage of vaccine doses. Delhi, Punjab, Karnataka, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir among others, have said they would be unable to start the drive for the inoculation of people aged 18-45 years against Covid-19 on day one, citing uncertainty over supply of vaccine doses. States such as Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat will be going ahead with the roll-out, but in a restricted manner. The Central government said that some states, which have already coordinated with manufacturers, will kick off the drive on the designated date. According to the Union health ministry, over 2.45 crore people have registered themselves for the next phase of Covid-19 vaccination on the Co-WIN digital platform till yesterday. The West Bengal government, in a statement this evening, said inoculation of people aged 18 to 45 would not begin from tomorrow in the state. Adults below 45 years of age would be inoculated only after the needed vaccine doses reach the state, it said, The vaccination Outside an empty Covid vaccination centre after Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation issued a notice about no vaccinations for three days in Mumbai on Friday. process for frontline workers and adults above 45 years would continue free of cost in government hospitals. People who are waiting for their second doses would be given preference during inoculation, the statement said. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 30 APRIL State clocks fresh record of 17,411 new cases, 96 deaths Terming the second wave of Covid-19 as a national crisis, the Supreme Court on Friday warned authorities, from the Centre down to police chiefs, against silencing people and their pleas for help on the presumption that they are raising false grievances on the internet. The top court made clear that any attempt to clampdown on free flow of information on social media including the call for help from people would be treated as the contempt of court. There should be free flow of information; we should hear voices of citizens. This is a national crisis. There should not be PARTIAL RELOCK 44 killed in stampede at festival in Israel: In one of the worst peacetime tragedies in Israel, at least 44 people were crushed to death and about 150 others injured in a stampede overnight at an overcrowded Jewish religious gathering in the country's north attended by tens of thousands of people flouting the coronavirus-related restrictions. The town is the site of the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a 2nd-century sage, and is considered to be one P10 of the holiest sites in the Jewish world. UAE could be back-up venue for T20 World Cup: u This year's Twenty20 World Cup could be moved to the United Arab Emirates if the Covid-19 crisis does not subside in India, the country's cricket board (BCCI) said. Six months before the showpiece's scheduled start, India reported a record number of new cases on Friday, though medical experts believe actual numbers may be five to 10 times greater. The governing International Cricket Council (ICC) said this month it was sticking to hosting the P12 event in India but had back-up plans. Jaishankar discusses Ladakh with Chinese FM: Asserting that it was necessary to complete the process of disengagement in eastern Ladakh “at the earliest”, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday conveyed to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi the need for “full and sincere” implementation of an agreement on restoration of peace in the region. Jaishankar tweeted “also discussed the issue of full and sincere implementation of the Moscow Agreement of complete disengagement at all friction points along the LAC and full restoration of peace in Eastern Ladakh.” Worker refill oxygen cylinders for hospitals treating Covid patients, after Kishore Bharati Stadium was turned into a Covid hospital. In Kolkata on Friday. AGENCIES STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 30 APRIL he West Bengal government today ordered the closure of all shopping malls, restaurants and fixed restricted timings for markets along with a host of other restrictions that were imposed in an attempt to combat the rapid surge in Covid cases for the past few days. Essential services and home deliveries would be permitted. A notification in this regard was issued by state chief secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay. The restrictions will be in force with immediate effect and continue till further orders. The development came as West Bengal registered a fresh record of 17,411 new Covid-19 cases and 96 deaths today. Kolkata recorded 3,924 cases and 28 deaths while North 24Parganas recorded 3,932 fresh cases and 20 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total Covid case T count is 8,28,366, with the death toll standing at 11,344 while there are 1,13,624 active cases. Bazaars or haats will remain open from 7 to 10 a.m. and from 3 to 5 p.m.. All shopping complexes, malls, beauty parlours, cinema halls, restaurants and bars, sports complexes, gyms, spas and swimming pools would remain closed. Home deliveries shall be permitted. Along with essential services like medical shops, medical equipment shops, groceries and other shops have been excluded from the ambit of restrictions. All social, academic, cultural and entertainment related gatherings and congregations shall remain prohibited. With counting of votes scheduled on 2 May, the state government has come up with specific restrictions for conducting the process while adhering to the Covid protocols. All activities related to electoral counting process and victory rallies or processions vaccination for the age group of 18-35 can only start in September this year once the vaccination process for those above 45 is completed. This is because the demand for 39 crore vaccines can be met only in July and August. He said it will take four months to complete the vaccination of the 18-45 age-group. A senior Odisha government official said the state cannot start the vaccination drive for those aged 18 and above from tomorrow as the state does not have the required vaccine stock. In Karnataka, chief minister B S Yediyurappa said vaccination for people above 18 years of age will be delayed in the state as the vaccine has not been supplied yet. In Himachal Bazaars will remain open from 7 to 10 a.m. and from 3 to 5 p.m All shopping complexes, malls, beauty parlours, cinema halls, restaurants and bars, sports complexes, gyms, spas and swimming pools will remain closed Essential services and home deliveries would be permitted All social, academic, cultural and entertainment related gatherings and congregations shall remain prohibited “There should be free flow of information; we should hear voices of citizens. This is a national crisis. If any action is taken against such posts by citizens in distress, we will treat it as contempt of the court” SUPREME COURT any presumption that the grievances raised on the internet are always false. Let a strong message be sent to all the DGPs that there should not be any kind of clampdown, a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said, referring to posting of messages on social media about issues like shortage of oxygen, beds or doctors. The bench, also com- Madras HC rules out media gag CHENNAI, 30 APRIL The Madras High Court on Friday refused to restrain the media despite the submissions made by the Election Commission of India to not report on oral observations made by the court. Madras High Court had orally remarked on Monday that “EC officers should be booked on murder charges probably” for allegedly turning a blind eye to poll rallies amidst the Covid-19 second wave. The remark was widely reported in media which irked ECI and they approached the court with such a plea. When Rakesh Dwivedi submitting suo motu plea for the ECI said the media should be instructed not to sensationalize anything, the bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee said, “We will SNS leave it at that.” prising Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat, said, If any action is taken against such posts by citizens in distress, we will treat it as contempt of the court. The apex court’s obser- vations come following the recent decision of the UP administration to prosecute people under the National Security Act for allegedly raising false alarms on social media. *Restrictions in force with immediate effect; to continue till further orders will be guided by the guidelines issued by the ECI, the notification stated. It also says that unnecessary congregations in the neighbourhoods of counting halls will be discouraged. It has to be ensured that crowding or loitering near the counting venue is averted, the government notified. In an order banning victory processions, the ECI on Tuesday said not more than two people will be allowed to accompany the winning candidate to receive their victory certificate. “Any violation of these orders will be liable to be proceeded against as per provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005,” read the notification. Modi urges ministers to take pulse of local situations, get feedback STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 30 APRIL In a meeting with his council of ministers, the first one since the outbreak of the second wave of Covid-19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday discussed ways of further streamlining the Covid management mechanism to ensure timely supply of oxygen and medicines to patients battling a scarcity of the two across the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Union ministers on Friday to stay in touch with the people of their respective regions, help them and keep get- KEY ISSUES Streamlining the Covid management mechanism to ensure timely supply of oxygen and medicines Coordination with states, augmenting medical capacities, boosting oxygen availability ting their feedback on the situation. The meeting discussed the various steps being undertaken including coordination with the states, augmenting medical capacities and boosting oxygen availability, the Prime Minister stated on Twitter after the meeting. The meeting, held virtually through video conferencing, was attended, apart from the council of ministers, by Niti Aayog member V K Paul. Taking serious note of the situation, the council of ministers earlier termed the global pandemic a ‘once in a century crisis’. They called for wider participation of society in controlling the spread by adopting ‘Covid appropriate’ behaviour. The PM underlined the need for greater involvement of ministers in Covid management in their respective constituencies. Daily high: Over 3.86L new cases Legal luminary Soli Sorabjee passes away PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 30 APRIL India saw 3,86,452 new coronavirus infections in a span of 24 hours, the highest single-day rise so far, pushing the total tally of Covid-19 cases to1,87,62,976, while active cases crossed the 31-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday. The death toll increased to 2,08,330 with 3,498 new fatalities,the data updated at 8 am showed. Registering a steady increase, the active cases have increased to 31,70,228 comprising 16.90 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate has further dropped to 81.99 per cent. Thenumber of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1, 53,84,418. The case fatality rate stands at 1.11 per cent, the data stated. India’s Covid-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh onOctober 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 andsurpassed the onecrore mark on December 19. India crossed the grim milestone of 1.50 crore on April 19. According to the ICMR, 28,63,92,086 samples have been tested up to April 29 with 19,20,107 samples being tested on Thursday. The 3,498 new fatalities include 771 from Maharashtra, 395 from Delhi, 295from Uttar Pradesh, 270 from Karnataka, 251 from Chhattisgarh, 180 from Gujarat, 158 from Rajasthan,145 from Jharkhand, 137 from Punjab and 107 from Tamil Nadu. A total of 2,08,330 deaths have been reported so far in the coun- SNS/PTI NEW DELHI, 30 APRIL 1,87,62,976 31,70,228 3,86,452 2,97,540 2,08,330 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. FRIDAY 30 APRIL 2021 try. The health ministry said that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities. Pradesh, an official affirmed that the vaccination for the 18-44 age group will not begin on 1 May, as announced earlier, as the vaccine supply from the manufacture is expected only after three-four weeks. Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said the inoculation of those above 18 years of age will start from Saturday in his state ‘as per the availability’ of vaccine doses. The Gujarat government said on Friday that the phase-III of Covid-19 vaccination would start tomorrow, but only in ten worst affected districts. Uttar Pradesh will launch the vaccination drive for the 1844 age group in seven districts with high Covid numbers. (With PTI inputs) ‘Covid-19 a national crisis’: SC warns against clampdown on internet pleas Return of Covid curbs in Bengal An under construction temporary Covid Care Centre at Ramlila Maidan, as Covid cases surge across India, in New Delhi on Friday. AGENCIES national capital will not join the national level rollout of vaccination for people aged 18-44 years, since the required vaccine doses have not been received yet. In the next one-two days, around three lakh Covishield vaccines will be received and the drive for vaccinating people in the age group 18-44 years will commence, Kejriwal said in an online briefing. Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh made it clear that due to non-availability of vaccine, Phase III of vaccination of 18-45 age group cannot be started as scheduled. He also said that all vaccinations at private health facilities will remain suspended from Saturday. The chief minister said as the balance of unutilised vaccines had to be returned to the Central government by all private health facilities by Friday evening, these facilities would have no vaccines to administer from Friday even for the 45+ population. Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said on Friday that Distinguished jurist and former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee, who appeared in several historic cases like Kesavananda Bharti and S R Bommai, passed away due to Covid19 at a hospital here on Friday. The 91-year-old is survived by wife, a daughter and two sons. A recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award of the country, the renowned human rights lawyer served as the Attorney General for India from 1989-90 and then from 1998-2004 during the tenure of V P Singh and Atal Bihari Vajpayee respectively. Sorabjee served with distinction on the board of The Statesman and appeared for the paper in several important cases, especially those that impinged on Press freedoms. 1930-2021 President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were among a host of leaders who condoled the passing away of the eminent jurist. The Prime Minister described him as an outstanding lawyer who was at the forefront of helping the poor and downtrodden through law. Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana also condoled the CMYK demise of Sorabjee. Considered one of the best Constitutional law experts, Sorabjee wrote several books on laws and justice, press censorship and the Emergency, and vehemently fought against human and fundamental rights violations. One of his recent court battles pertaining to fundamental right violations was the Shreya Singhal case in which the Supreme Court in 2015 agreed to his submissions and struck down a provision in the Information Technology Act relating to restrictions on online freedom of speech and expression. The top court held that section 66A was unconstitutional as being violative of freedom of speech guaranteed under the Constitution, the point put forth by Sorabjee. Considered close to Vajpayee, Sorabjee had led India’s fight in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) when Pakistan sought compensation from India for downing of their naval patrol aircraft Atlantic in 1999 just after the Kargil war. The ICJ at the Hague ruled in India’s favour after taking note of submissions of Sorabjee and dismissed Pakistan's claim for compensation, saying it had no jurisdiction over the matter. He also appeared and worked for the Citizen’s Justice Committee which represented anti-Sikh riots victims. Born in a Parsi family in 1930, Sorabjee enrolled at the bar in 1953 and was designated senior advocate by the Bombay High Court in 1971. Sorabjee appeared in many important cases including the Kesavananda Bharati matter on basic structure doctrine and the S R Bommai matter relating to invocation of President’s rule in states among others. See also Page 5 Help arrives from abroad US gifts 423 O2 cylinders with regulators and other medical supplies First consignment of US aid lands in India: The United States on Friday delivered to India its first consignment of emergency medical supplies including hundreds of much-needed oxygen cylinders and regulators to help the country. Emergency powers granted to Army: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday invoked special provisions and granted emergency financial powers to the armed forces to empower them and speed up their efforts to tide over Covid crisis. These powers will help formation commanders to operate quarantine facilities and undertake procurement/repair of equipments. Remdesivir purchase: HLL Lifecare Ltd, a Centre-owned company has ordered 4,50,000 vials of Remdesivir from Gilead Sciences Inc USA and Egyptian Pharma Company, Eva Pharma. Gilead Sciences Inc. Oxygen import for personal use: The government on Friday permitted import of oxygen concentrators for personal use, through post, courier or e-commerce portals under gift category
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